National Burger Day

Another random food day! I decided to try Serious Eats’ smashed burger recipe, and since I’ve been meaning to make Hokkaido milk bread for a while, I thought I’d use that as the buns (because brioche buns are so last year).

The Hokkaido (soy) milk bread recipe I used was the King Arthur flour one: except I replaced the milk with soy milk, butter with Nuttelex, and instead of adding milk powder, ended up putting 125g of soy milk. I brushed it with soy milk before baking, which is probably why it doesn’t have a very nice brown colour on top.

This is what it looked like out of the oven:

The smashed burgers are pretty straightforward. Get some mince (at least 20% fat), roll it into balls (mine were about 80g each) and flatten a little. Season with salt and pepper after shaping. With a paper towel, brush oil on a frying pan (not a non-stick one, as you want the meat to stick a little so it gets that nice crispy brown-ness, and non-stick pans can be toxic at the heat you want to cook the burgers at). Heat the pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, and then increase to high.

Put the burgers on a pan (I could only do about 2 at a time), and immediately squash them until they’re about 70mm thick. If you wait more than 30s to squash them, you lose a lot of the juices, so you have to do it quickly! Cook until one side is nice and brown, flip over and put a slice of cheese on the cooked side.

The reason you put the cheese on now is because it is deliciously melty and covers the burger when you do it now. Compare below, the left slice was placed after the burger was removed from the pan, the right one while the burger was on the pan. Look at how nicely it coats the burger so you can maximise cheese-beef without having that weird hanging cheese part.

Cook on this side for about 30s, then remove and allow to cool for a bit (so the juices don’t leak out right away).

Assemble the burgers with whatever toppings you like.

I fried up some onions, sliced some tomatoes, bought some shredded lettuce (was too lazy to do it myself) and for MrFodder, fried an egg. And, the greatest thing of all:  Beerenberg’s Reg’s tomato and cracked pepper relish.

I love this stuff. I could eat it out of a jar on its own. MrFodder likes to corrupt it with American mustard for burgers, but I think it’s perfect on its own.

The Hokkaido milk bread buns were really nice. I’m not 100% sold on them going with burgers, as they are fairly sweet, but it was still delicious.

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